As the world’s oldest watch manufacturer, Vacheron Constantin is well versed in creating timepiece collections that successfully combine artistry and storytelling with haute horlogerie. Even so, the latest Métiers d’Art Copernicus celestial spheres 2460 RT collection left Bazaar reeling from the level of detail and technical feats accomplished in these captivating watches.
The collection is named after Nicolas Copernicus, the 16th-century mathematician and philosopher who was behind one of the most important astronomical findings: that the earth gravitates around the sun, rather than the other way around.
The golden Sun on Vacheron's "Sapphire Copernicus" model
Vacheron Constantin has reimagined this elliptical trajectory of the Earth in the Copernicus collection. Available in three different dial variations, they are set in 18-karat white gold enclosing a dial featuring a hand-engraved pink-gold Sun-face to the centre. Each Sun is enveloped by an elliptical-shaped groove, set with a gold disc that reflects the Earth’s movement by both turning itself once every 24 hours, and making a full revolution around the Sun every 365 days.
Vacheron Constantin's "Grand Feau Enamel" Copernicus Timepiece
The remaining dial details then vary according to each of the three Copernicus versions. The Grand Feu enamel pays homage to traditional enamelling techniques, with a baroque-themed dial and champlevé enamel Earth portraying the blue of the oceans and the detail of its continents – no easy task to complete on a 6.8mm dome.
Detail on Vacheron Constantin's "Art of Engraving" Copernicus timepiece
The second art of engraving model is entirely hand-engraved, with the 12 detailed zodiac signs fluidly overlapping one another over a white gold disc. The dial’s rotating Earth boasts an even higher level of detail, with its polished gold continents sitting amongst oceans covered with microscopically engraved waves.
Vacheron Constantin's "Art of Engraving" Copernicus timepiece
The third and final model is the Copernicus Sapphire version, featuring two sapphire discs that have been both laser and hand engraved to provide a beautiful blend of optical effects. The hand-painted blue underdial is overlaid with a transparent sapphire crystal that has been laser-engraved with the zodiac symbols, before being further hand-engraved to accentuate the raised motifs and maximise the opalescent effect of the sapphire. The finished effect is a tantalising capture of the sky complemented by a three-dimensional star-studded effect.
Vacheron Constantin's "Copernicus Sapphire" timepiece
Complete with the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva certification and a Mississippiensis alligator leather strap, the Copernicus is quite literally heaven on your wrist.